In the early 1970s, the Khmer Rouge had become suspicious of communist Vietnam and began to persecute Cambodian ethnic groups who had ties to the country, including the Brao Amba in the northeast. Many fled north as political refugees, and some joined the Vietnamese effort to depose the Khmer Rouge a few years later. The subsequent ten-year occupation is remembered by many Cambodians as a time of further oppression, but this volume reveals an unexpected dimension of this troubled past. Trusted by the Vietnamese, the Brao were installed in positions of great authority in the new government only to gradually lose their influence when Vietnam withdrew from Cambodia. Based on detailed research and interviews, Ian G. Baird documents this golden age of the Brao, including the voices of those who are too frequently omitted from official records. Rise of the Brao challenges scholars to look beyond the prevailing historical narratives to consider the nuanced perspectives of peripheral or marginal regions.
About the Author
Ian G. Baird is an associate professor in the department of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Dipterocarpus Wood Resin Tenure, Management and Trade: Practices of the Brao in Northeast Cambodia and the coauthor of People, Livelihoods, and Development in the Xekong River Basin, Laos.
Table of Contents
Contents Preface vii Acknowledgments xi List of Abbreviations xiii Glossary xv Introduction: The Golden Age of the Brao of Northeastern Cambodia 3 PART 1 1 The Brao and Their Early Involvement in the Khmer Rouge 25 2 Brao Discontent with the Khmer Rouge and Their Exodus from Cambodia to Vietnam and Laos 63 3 The Deterioration of Vietnam-Cambodia Relations, Preparations in Vietnam, and the Attack on the Khmer Rouge 94 PART 2 4 Organizing Post-Khmer Rouge Northeastern Cambodia and the Rise of the Brao 145 5 The Development of Northeastern Cambodia, 1979 to 1989 171 6 The Security and Military Circumstances in Northeastern Cambodia, 1979 to 1989 202 7 Experiences with People from Vietnam, Laos, and Eastern Europe, 1979 to 1989 233 PART 3 8 Transitions in Northeastern Cambodia in the Late 1980s and Early 1990s 265 Conclusion: Lessons from the 1980s 281 Appendix: Prominent People 291 Notes 305 References 333 Index 351